Archive for October, 2011

Monday Menus: Irish Soda Bread

October 10, 2011

Hello R.S. sisters! This is my first posting on the sight.

This recipe came from our neighbors who are first generation Irish. I was teaching a YW lesson on culture and traditions and asked for their help since I don’t have many interesting traditions in my own family (yet). They shared their simple recipe for Irish Soda Bread that they bring to all their family gatherings and have around the holidays. It’s not only delicious, but there isn’t anything you need to go to the store to buy to make it other than its few staple ingredients. Hope you enjoy! For all of you YW mothers, please share this with your daughters as I never did get around to sharing the recipe with them. Enjoy!

Irish Soda Bread


3 C Flour

3 Tbsp Sugar

2  1/4 tsp Baking Powder

3/4 tsp Baking Soda

3 Tbsp butter

1  1/2 C Buttermilk or water (Buttermilk is my preference)

1/2 C Craisins, Walnuts, and/or raisins (optional)

Mix sugar, butter and buttermilk (or water). Gradually mix in flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Knead until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Bring dough to a floured surface and continue kneading until forming a nice, round ball. Place into a greased round cake pan (or comparable pan). Take knife and cut the surface of the dough in fours, making a cross (this has significant meaning to Irish Catholics). Bake at 350 degrees foe 1 hour.


-Marie Hammill


Friday Favorites: Tights

October 7, 2011

Once you reach adulthood, choices for legwear become limited. Black stockings. White stockings. Nude stockings. I hate stockings. With cold winters, stockings are ridiculous at best. All they seem to do for me is highlight my goosebumps.

I prefer tights. The problem is finding tights. Here’s a website that sells tights for women and girls in both cotton and wool and cotton-lined wool. I love these tights.

Thursday Thoughts: General Conference

October 6, 2011

When President Monson declared, “Conference is now over,” on Sunday afternoon, I felt an almost tangible sadness. Though conference weekend is long, and it requires a great deal of preparation in order to devote eight hours to watch all of it, at the end, I always know the Lord knows my heart. He knows my weaknesses and my worries. He knows our world and what we need to hear.

This conference was no different. I have been increasingly troubled by the code of conduct that is deemed acceptable. From what is branded entertainment to the role models offered up by the world, I find myself closing off borders in my own little country, denying entrance to pop culture.

President Monson spoke of the changing world, and the changing moral compass, the abandonment of the ethic of self-restraint. He warned of spending our moral capital with the same reckless abandonment as our financial capital. He said that morality is not passe. Our conscience is there to guide us; we are responsible for our actions. Our code of conduct is not negotiable. The Lord’s constancy is something on which we can rely. We must be vigilant in a world that has moved so far from morality.

President Monson urged us to seek the Lord’s help. When we communicate with Heavenly Father through prayer, and work toward the goal of having a relationship with Heavenly Father, we can receive inspiration in order to weather the storms and trials of life.

Wednesday Words

October 5, 2011

“Communication with our Father in Heaven—including our prayers to Him and His inspiration to us—is necessary in order for us to weather the storms and trials of life.”

President Thomas S. Monson, October 2011 General Conference

Tuesday Tips: Internet Blockers

October 4, 2011

We received a request for websites and software for internet blockers.

Here is a link to an internet filter software review.

Here is a link to K9 free web protection.

Can anyone else weigh in with experience/opinions?

Monday Menu: Polish Mushroom Soup

October 3, 2011

Happy Monday!

Here’s a recipe I made for book group last month. It’s from a Martha Stewart recipe and can be found here.

Notes: I substituted dried porcini mushrooms for the Polish borowik and used fresh shiitake instead of dried. I also used two cups chicken stock and one cup beef. If you’re making this ahead of time, I’d hold off on adding the orzo as it turns to mush if left too long in the broth, or else use something sturdier like barley or wheat.


  • 5 to 6 ounces (about 4 to 6) dried mushrooms such as Polish borowik or cepes
  • 12 large dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 5 medium ribs of celery, chopped
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 1 pound white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dill, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Rinse dried mushrooms. Place mushrooms in 2 cups of cold water, and soak for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. In a large pot, bring stock to a simmer. Add celery, onions, and carrots. Strain dried mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid. Add strained soaking liquid to soup. Chop hydrated mushrooms into 1/4-inch pieces slightly larger than diced vegetables, and add to soup. Add sliced white button mushrooms.
  3. Cover, and cook soup until vegetables are tender, about an hour. Bring soup to a boil. Stirring constantly, add orzo. Reduce the heat to a gentle boil, and, stirring occasionally to prevent pasta from sticking, cook until orzo is cooked through, another 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make a roux: Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, and cook, stirring constantly until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove 1 cup broth from soup,and add roux, whisking constantly until slightly thickened and free of lumps. Stir thickened liquid into soup. Add chopped parsley and dill.
  5. Finish soup with sour cream: Add 1/4 cup thickened soup to sour cream. Whisk until smooth. Add sour cream to soup, whisking constantly until it is well incorporated, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Friday Favorites: General Conference Weekend

October 3, 2011

I was looking forward to it so much that I actually totally spaced my blog responsibilities. What are your family traditions that make the weekend fun?

We especially like the late start here on the East Coast.  Plenty of time to sleep in and have a late brunch when church doesn’t even get going until noon. Saturday was also special because I know I have to throw out the tradition of working my kids to death cleaning all day and relax and we can all enjoy what I usually am suppossed to do this pregnancy- Relaxing. In  between conference on Saturday we usually play baseball or soccer in the back yard. I cheered this time.  On Sunday we got started watching home videos before the session and that’s what we did in also in between, and after until bedtime. That together with wonderful talks that lifted our spirits left us all feeling like the weekend had been the best. The kids took notes of each talk they listened to and recieved a treat for each one they could report on. I kept it small- A Hershey Kiss- since Caroline had over 20 talks she had scribbled notes on. She even was trying to take notes on the prayers.

Kennon took over for Mom and made our traditional Conference Cinnamon Rolls. They are always on the menu at our brunch and the kids won’t let us skip this tradition. I guess you could say it is their favorite.

Favorite Conference Cinnamon Rolls

1 T. yeast.

1 c. lukewarm milk

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/3 butter, melted

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

4 cups or more flour

Combine yeast,warm milk and a little of the sugar and let it rise. Then combine all other ingredients adding flour at the end. I usually just stick with the 4 cups but sometimes add 1/2 c. or so more if it looks too sticky.

Rise till double.

Roll out into a large rectange and brush with 1/3 c. melted butter. Sprinkle 3/4 c. brown sugar and 2 T. cinnamon over.

Cut into rolls and put in a greased pan. Rise until puffy then bake at 350 for about 12 minutes.

Favorite Maple Glaze

Make this while they are baking. I prefer it to cream cheese frosting. It makes a lot so I usually half it.

1 c. butter, 1/2 c. milk. Heat together until butter melts.

Mix in on low heat just until combined: 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 tsp. maple flavoring, 1/2 pint sour cream, 3 c. powdered sugar.

You can add more powdered sugar for a thicker glaze (but also sweeter so I just stick with the runny glaze.

Enjoy. . . And once again so sorry that this comes too late for your General Conference. I hope that you all enjoyed being with your family and listening to the word of the Lord as much as I did.